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Heal the Bay Report CardWe are happy to report that Newport Dunes offers a clean public beach. Southern California consists of all counties from Santa Barbara County to San Diego County. Summer Dry Grades were stellar with 95% of the beaches receiving A and B grades, which is close to the average for this region.  This includes Newport Dunes’ public beach.  We are far away from the location listed on Heal the Bay’s “Beach Bummer List”, assures Wade Kerley, Director of Marina Operations.

According to Heal the Bay’s “2021-2022 Beach Report Card, one location in Newport Beach made the Beach Bummer list. Here is what was cited:

Vaughn’s Launch in Orange County is a sampling location within the Newport Bay Ecological Reserve and State Marine Conservation area. Swimming and fishing are not allowed here but kayaking and paddleboarding are; the nearest location to launch a boat is at the Newport Bay Aquatic Center. Vaughn’s Launch is impacted by a nearby creek that carries runoff from the surrounding neighborhoods.

Local officials have worked on addressing certain pollutants in the runoff by funneling the potentially polluted water through a retention basin containing natural vegetation. However, the retention basin was not constructed for filtering out fecal indicator bacteria so they do not know how effective it is against fecal pollution. Natural populations of birds are suspected to be the reason for the high bacteria concentrations, but more investigation is necessary to support that claim.

You can read the whole 2021-2022 Beach Report Card linked here.

The map below shows the approximate location of Vaughn’s Launch at the top of the Upper Newport Bay State Conservation Area.

approximate location of Vaughns Launch